The Closer Report » Brian Fuentes, Chris Perez, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Storen, Fernando Rodney, Huston Street, Joe Nathan, Joel Hanrahan, Jonathan Broxton, Jordan Walden, Ryan Franklin, Sean Burnett » Fast Start, Slow Start Closers
We have almost two weeks wrapped up in the 2011 MLB season and there have been some pleasant surpirses within the ranks of closers and some dismal dissappointments. Let’s start with the pleasant surprises.
Jonathan Broxton – Broxton was left for dead by the fly-by-night experts. Granted he isn’t his old self and very well never will be, but he is still an elite closer on a team that uses it’s closer often. He hasfive saves in five chances and 1 K to start the season. While he’s given up two runs ( one on a HR), opposing batters are onlu batting .250 against the big right-hander.
Houston Street – Another one of my personal favorites and a steal in the draft adfter round 11, Street has also opened the season with five saves. Street has been blowing away batters with 11 Ks and a 1.00 ERA and WHIP. He’s already pitched nine innings and appears 100% healthy. So far.
Brian Fuentes – Granted it will likely be short lived, if you drafted Fuentes in the wake of Andrew Bailey being injured, they you got a great value closer. Fuentes is 4/4 in saves with 5 Ks and a ERA around 3.00. Enjoy him while you can.
Joel Hanrahan – How impressive has he been? Granted there will be less saves and a likely big slow down for the Pirates closer, he has established himself has a closer again and has seened to reinvent himself. He has four saves early in the season, but more impressive, batters are hitting only .217 and he has 8 Ks in 6.1 innings.
Chris Perez – He’s a closer I’ve been waiting a couple of years for and now he’s pitching as expected. With the Indians flying high, Perez has four saves this season and even more impressive is his ERA and WHIP ( 0.00 & 0.80).
Craig Kimbrel – At the start of the season we were told that the closer role would be shared between Venters and Kimbrel. I didn’t buy it at all. Whiel Venters is capable of being a closer, Kimbrel is one. As the season opened, Kimbreal got the call and never looked back. He is 3/3 in saves and has 7 Ks, a 0.00 ERA, and a WHIP standing at 0.50. He’s a no doubt ROY candidate.
Joe Nathan – Nathan wasn’t expected to close until at least a few weeks into the season. Gardenhire didn’t wait nearly that long and the results are excellent. 3/3 in saves with a 3.00 ERA. While his WHIP is high at 1.67 and his strikeouts are low with two, Nathan is settling in very well after Tommy John surgery.
Matt Thornton – Talk about a terrible start to the season. I was not sold on Thornton being Guillen’s closer. I was sold on Chris Sale, and so far I’ve been proven right. Don’t get me wrong, Thronton is an excellent lefty with closer stuff. I just think he’s a better value used earlier in the game then as a closer. Of course, he’s also had terrible luck in his three blown saves with basic flyball errors. I guess he better strikeout out everyone to get his first save. His ERA stands at 2.70, but his WHIP is horrible at 2.73. Batters are batting 3.81 against the lefty so far.
Fernando Rodney – Nothing is worse than losing your job to a rookie in the first week of the season. That happened to Rodney. After blowing a big save, Mike Scoccia set him down for rookie Jordan Wladen. Since then Rodney has been better and even notched a save. There is a chance he’ll get the job back, but I wouldn’t cross my fingers.
Drew Storen – I’m not even sure what happened here. Storen is a guy who was expected to close from the start. I’ve never really liked him in that role cause he’s a breaking ball pitcher who depends on a curveball for outs. Sean Burnett came out to close games for the Nationals and hasn’t looked back. I cannot tell you when Storen will close at this point.
Ryan Franklin - I love chatting about Franklin because I think he’s a terriably lucky pitcher. So far in 2011, he is 1/4 in saves and I can’t believe he has the job still. He ERA is hovering around 10.0 and you can just tell he’s done. Get Jason Motte or Miguel Batista if you own Franklin. His days are numbered.
Filed under: Brian Fuentes, Chris Perez, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Storen, Fernando Rodney, Huston Street, Joe Nathan, Joel Hanrahan, Jonathan Broxton, Jordan Walden, Ryan Franklin, Sean Burnett · Tags: joel Hanrahan, Ryan Franklin